Popcorn is a delicious snack best enjoyed at a movie night among friends. As much as we love to eat popcorn, getting it stuck in our throat can be a terrible experience. Sometimes it feels like we’ll never be able to get it out either!
Removing popcorn from inside a throat will require drinking plenty of liquids like water, milk or a soda. If that doesn’t work then try eating a sticky food item like bread, a banana, or some sticky rice.
There are many different methods for getting popcorn unstuck from your throat. The popcorn should not remain inside the throat, as it could result in irritation and swelling. Not every method will work for everyone, so check out the suggestions below and look for the one that’s best for you!
Do Liquids Help Get Popcorn Out of Your Throat?
If you end up with popcorn stuck inside your throat, immediately drink water. If you already have another drink nearby, use that. The type of liquid does not matter much. The goal is to flush to kernel out as quickly as possible. Try tilting your chin down toward your chest and swallowing forcefully.
Carbonated drinks may be better suited to free the lodged popcorn from your throat. If water does not work, try drinking some soda.
Simply drinking the liquid may not be enough to free the popcorn. Instead of just drinking water or soda, try gargling it, but be careful when gargling soda. If the carbonated liquid finds its way up to your nose, it would simply add insult to injury.
Other than soda or water, others suggest drinking milk is the perfect way to dislodge the popcorn. Be sure to take big gulps. As you swallow the milk, try to direct it towards the popcorn. You can also try drinking thicker liquids, such as smoothies. The denser the drink is, the more likely it is to pull the popcorn down with it.
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Will Eating Help Get Popcorn Out of Your Throat?
If drinking liquids does not dislodge the popcorn from your throat, you may need to eat something with a bit more substance to knock it free. Eating another food item is what many people suggest.
While most agree that eating another food will free you from the discomfort of popcorn in your throat, they have different ideas about which types of food you should eat. Some believe softer foods are the answer, while others think hard foods work best. We will discuss both types below.
No matter what type of food you use to clear your throat, you will likely need to swallow a sizable bite. Only attempt to dislodge the popcorn with this method if you have a family member or friend nearby.
Eating large bites when something is stuck in your throat could result in choking. If the food does get stuck, the family member or friend should call for emergency help.
If you have already attempted to use water or another liquid to free the popcorn from your throat to no avail, you can move on to swallowing hard foods.
Grab a piece of hard bread, such as Italian bread or a baguette. Break off a large chunk. The portions of bread should still be small enough to swallow. Swallow the pieces of bread without chewing. It should catch the lip of the popcorn and push it down your throat.
If you do not have any hard bread, pull the crust off a regular slice of bread. Break the crust into small pieces and swallow several of them at once, without chewing.
The bread crusts should work the same and hard bread would. You can also substitute hard bread for a well-done piece of toast. Break the toast into swallowable pieces. Swallow one piece at a time until your throat clears.
Some suggest doing the same with larger pieces of tortillas. While tortillas are not necessarily a “hard food,” they are usually sturdy enough to push the kernel out.
Others we spoke with suggested eating saltines, cereal, or even rice (specifically sticky rice). The sticky rice should latch onto the kernel and pull it from its place.
If hard foods did not free the popcorn shell from your throat, try swallowing some softer foods. Not only are these safer to eat in larger quantities, but some may help soothe any irritation of the throat.
While the bread was the number one suggestion for hard foods to swallow, it is also the number one approach for soft foods! Find a large piece of soft bread. Swallow the bread in larger chunks (not too big that you will choke). Instead of hooking the popcorn like the hard bread would, soft bread should push the shell down.
Other soft foods that focus on pushing the kernel out are mashed potatoes, ice cream, peanut butter, and mashed bananas. Eating ice cream may help soothe any irritation the shell has caused as well.
When using these foods to get a popcorn kernel out, take a large bite and try to swallow without chewing at all. The thickness of the food should push the shell out.
Another suggestion was to use warm honey! Like the ice cream, warm honey will act as a soothing agent for any irritation the kernel has caused. Do not overheat the honey, as this could burn your throat. Test the honey on your hand or arm before putting it in your mouth.
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Other Solutions To Get The Popcorn Out
While most of the suggestions for removing a popcorn kernel from your throat were food-related, there are a couple of other options as well.
For instance, you can use a waterpik to wash the popcorn down. A waterpik is a tool used to blast any food debris from between the teeth. Aim the waterpik at the popcorn, and let it gently wash it away. Do not use high power for this.
It may feel as though there is still a kernel stuck in your throat after trying all these techniques; however, it may just be a scratch. Use some sore throat spray to soothe the irritation. If fever occurs, seek medical help. The popcorn may have moved into the lung or start infecting your throat.
Hopefully, with this advice, you can get that pesky popcorn kernel gone and prepare yourself for the next time it happens!